Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Free speech from a surprising source

Earlier this year, Yale University Press declined to release cartoon images of Muhammad in Jytte Klausen's book, The Cartoons that Shook the World (oh the irony).  Their statement is here.  Basically they wussed out and they bowed to the Islamists and allowed the threat of violence (ie, terrorism) to put a damper on free speech.  In response Gary Hull, a professor at Duke University (hence my surprise since Duke is not known to be a bastion of free speech itself) is printing all of them in a book entitled Muhammad, the Banned Images using his own Voltaire Press as the platform.  He includes other images in this book also and his Introduction says:

Muhammad: The "Banned" Images is a "picture book" — or errata to the bowdlerized version of Klausen's book as published by Yale University Press. It is of course more than that. It is a statement of defiance against censors, terror-mongers, and their Western appeasers. It is a rallying cry for free speech, freedom of the press, and for open scholarship unfettered by fear.
 We'll see what happens next.  If there is violence against anyone associated with the book then that is further proof of Islam's basic incompatibility with the United State's ideals of free speech.

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